With funding from the Predominantly Black Institution (PBI) Program Formula Grant, the lower floor of the library, next to the media center, became a new space designed to enhance information literacy, promote discussion and collaborative work among students, hold workshops, and conduct presentations. The Learning Hub is a high tech room with two projection systems that can be run independently with dedicated speakers, dedicated laptop plugins around the room, VHS, DVD, CD and Blue Ray capability, and two mediascape mobile units. The mediascape mobile unites allow for up to four source plugins (laptops, Macbooks, iPads, and similar devices that have VGA connectivity) and adapters will be available soon for those sources without VGA. These units will help students with research, presentations, and discussions.
While the Learning Hub is technically not classrooms space, it is large enough to have two classes operating simultaneously. During the introduction of the room, Barbara Isacson, director of the media center, asked that the faculty envision creative uses of the space and share their suggestions. Debra Curtis, Ph.D., professor of mathematics noted that the Learning Hub is a warm inviting space that will promote discussion among colleagues and students. “It is a collaborative space that will allow colleagues to meet and discuss programming and offer high tech solutions to creative teaching.” One faculty member described it as an “indoor quad” that will allow students to meet and work with one another during inclement weather as they would on the quad in good weather.
Maryann Di Liberto Ph.D., professor of economics also described the space as collaborative. “This is a good space for classes that are focusing on special projects – like the Fed Challenge students and those conducting independent study. The relaxed atmosphere will induce more conversation.”
“We have a wish list,” says Isacson. “We hope to get the latest version of a smart board in here as well as a bank of laptops for student use.”